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Pitch Maintenance 

Q: How does FIH recommend the maintaining of quality in pitches?

A: The installation of hockey pitches under the guidelines issued by FIH is done on a performance based standard. This is in the form of a manual called the Handbook of Performance Requirements for Synthetic Turf Hockey Pitches.

The manual provides information for carpet manufacturers and pitch installers to provide a Hockey Pitch which will play to the highest possible standards and maintain player health and safety.

For maintaining ongoing and long term quality follow the maintenance guidelines of the pitch manufacturer.

Q: For a filled or dressed pitch when and how should maintenance be undertaken?

A: The periodic maintenance will be at the pitch manufacturers recommended intervals. The filling material is removed, cleaned and replaced. If top up material is required, it must match the specification of the original material.

It is essential that all intending proprietors of synthetic hockey pitches include the costs of maintenance in their Business Plan so that the periodic maintenance costs are adequately covered when required.

Refer to FIH Guide to the Care and Maintenance of Synthetic Turf Hockey Pitches.

Q. How frequently should a synthetic turf pitch be brushed/swept?

A: Any foreign material should be removed from the pitch and its surrounds as soon as possible. This applies to both unfilled pitches and filled/dressed pitches.
Synthetic turf pitches should be brushed/swept regularly, typically weekly, although the frequency may vary according to prevailing conditions. For example, during windy periods, or the autumn season, this frequency may need to be increased.

Refer to the FIH Guide to the Care and Maintenance of Synthetic Turf Hockey Pitches for general guidance, and to manufacturer's instructions for specific details.

Q. Why is so much emphasis placed on pitch maintenance? 

A. It is important to maintain a clean pitch for the following reasons:
· Maintains a healthy and safe environment for the sport
· Enhances the playability of the surface
· Contributes to the efficiency of drainage and, for unfilled pitches, the watering systems
· Increases the longevity of the pitch, a significant economic factor
· Normally a criterion of compliance with warranty conditions 

Q: Where can I obtain 80% alcohol for washing blood from synthetic hockey surfaces? 

A: We recommend that you contact the local pharmacist who often uses it in prescriptions. While he or she may not have the required alcholic solution or may be only in insufficient volumes they know where it can be obtained. One international supplier is SIGMA.

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